... Has this utility worked for anyone?
You should be able to use use OS X Internet Recovery as long as you upgraded your mid-2010 Mini's firmware. I have done it and can confirm that it works, even with a new, empty, unformatted hard disk.
If for some reason it does not work for you, it will be unproductive to determine the reason for now. In that case you must boot from another device, use Disk Utility to format it, and subsequently install a version of OS X. You can reinstall Mountain Lion by downloading it again from the Mac App Store. It will appear under the "purchases" tab.
The usual way of doing this is to boot from your original grey System Restore DVD (hold the c key while you start your Mini). If you have an external drive containing a bootable OS X volume you can boot using Startup Manager (hold an Option key while you start your Mini). If you have a Time Machine backup, you can boot from it, which will load OS X Recovery and allow you to restore from your Time Machine backup.
Yes, I have used a USB thumb drive created from the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant to reinstall Mountain Lion to my rMBP and a Mac Mini mid-2011. The DIsk Assistant basically just puts the Recovery HD of your OS X install on a USB thumb drive. No installer just the OS X Utilities menu and the option to Reinstall OS X as a option just like the Recovery HD on your hard drive. I have also used it to install ML to a new SSD drive in my Mac Mini.
Ok I have used your suggestions and they do work to a fasion, my problem now is that during the restore the Mini appears to go to sleep and nothing seems to make it come out of sleep so .... I have to start the process over again. It stops at verious percents from my time capusal backup.
Not sure what to do now. I should probably post as another question.
I need to be patient. It's so slow.
Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. Its my 1st Mac and I really like it but it just seems like a bear to restore or reinstall the current OS X. I do restores on Windows and it seems to work a little smoother but then my experience level is greater on Windows than the Mac. I just have to keep plugging away.
Again Thanks all!
It's not so much the size as the lack of media. Call me old fashion but I have never needed to use anything other than a DVD to install and it goes very smoothly.
I used the original snow leopard disk and brought it up to 10.6.8 which was the requirement for the up grade to man lion but the App Store needed 10.7 to access as it had an icon with a crossed out zero on it. A bit of contradiction in my books. Had I had the media for all the upgrades this type of conflict would not have been a problem.
I had an apple support case opened for this and got an apple engineer to help, 3 hrs later we still had not been able to fix my original problem and said I needed to take an authorized dealer to look at the problem.
I have 25 years of experience behind me and that just seem a little strange!